WIC program to introduce Electronic Benefit Card

Published 9:26 am Monday, August 14, 2017

Across North Carolina this year, local Women, Infant and Children (WIC) programs are rolling out new electronic benefit cards, or eWIC, for participants.

Hertford County Public Health Authority’s eWIC program is set to roll-out February of 2018.

WIC is a federally supported food program for children up to age 5, infants to one year of age and pregnant or breastfeeding women. The local WIC program provides pregnant women, infants and children with time to talk with a WIC dietitian, support for breastfeeding, help monitoring healthy growth and development, referrals to other health and community resources, and assistance to buy healthy foods.

About 820 local WIC participants are served each month by Hertford County’s WIC program and will be affected by the roll-out.

The eWIC program has been successfully implemented in several states, with many other states also in the process of transitioning. States that have implemented eWIC noted several improvements to the WIC program, including:

Elimination of paper checks has improved the shopping experience for WIC participants;

Electronic approval of WIC items has improved the check-out experience for cashiers;

Electronic payment processing has improved the understanding process for retail vendors; and

eWIC issuance of benefits has streamlined the process in the WIC clinic.

The statewide decision to implement eWIC comes from The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The act expanded several nutrition assistance programs, including WIC. It also orders that State WIC food benefits change from a paper-based benefit “check” to an electronic benefit card by Oct. 1, 2020.

The WIC program works to help to prevent obesity and provides information on ways in which families can incorporate healthy nutrition into their daily lifestyles.

To learn more about WIC or to schedule an appointment, call 252-862-4217 or visit 718 Evans Street in Ahoskie.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.